MY FIRST YOGA EXPERIENCE
YOGA HAS BECOME INCREASINGLY POPULAR
According to a survey conducted by Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal, more than a third of Americans say they are very likely to try yoga in the next year and the number of people who do practice yoga regularly has increased dramatically in the past few years. And there are good reasons for that considering the research showing the many health benefits that regular yoga can provide.
FIRST, MY EXPERIENCE
I attended my very first yoga class this past weekend. I have read research and have listened to client’s experiences of practice but had never attempted a class myself. I will admit that I was intimidated to start, as I think is a common feeling when trying something new. As a beginner, I was not sure how well I would do in class, if I would be able to keep up, if I would make it through the entire class and plenty more insecurities. I was not concentrating on the benefits I would receive from the experience at first.
When we started, I was quickly aware of how stiff I was feeling. Just breathing, everything felt tight but with the instructor’s guidance I continued to breathe and be mindful of my body and breathing and everything began to open up and feel better. Throughout the class, I found myself being more mindful of my movement. I was noticing which joints were more flexible and which muscles seemed to be weaker/stronger. Moving slowly and mindfully through movements is hard, but it is a practice I think everyone should try in some respect.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOGA
Many people get into yoga for the physical fitness aspects and the general stress relief it can provide. But research has shown yoga can have even more profound benefits, some of which include:
1. Physical Fitness Benefits – increased flexibility, improved balance, increased muscle tone, increased body awareness
2. Stress Relief – helps focus which can help with stress management
3. Mindfulness Practice – makes you aware of your movements and breathing which can translate to mindfulness practice outside of yoga practice as well
4. Mental Clarity – improves focus and awareness
5. Pain Relief – all the above benefits lead to pain relief for those suffering from chronic pain
I am very much looking forward to continuing yoga practice and passing on the knowledge to my clients as well. I believe that everyone should practice some form of meditation/mindfulness and since yoga also provides physical benefits as well, it is a perfect fit for busy New Yorkers who want to be able to multitask.
READ MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF YOGA:
38 Health Benefits of Yoga: https://yogajournal.com/lifestyle/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit
Yoga Benefits Beyond the Mat: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/yoga-benefits-beyond-the-mat